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May 24, 2001 - May 24, 2001

Cyclone could hit Gujarat late Friday Thursday, May 24, 2001

New Delhi: A cyclonic storm that has been hovering near India's west coast for the last two days could hit the southern coastal areas of Gujarat late on Friday, weather officials told Reuters on Thursday.

The cyclone was currently 550 km south of the port town of Veraval in Gujarat, where some 30,000 people were killed by an earthquake in January.

"The cyclone remained practically stationary at night. It was supposed to move north. Now it will cross the southern Gujarat coast by tomorrow late in the night," said Shravan Kumar, deputy director general of the Bombay weather office.

A U.S. Navy weather website, www.npmoc.navy.mil, showed the cyclone had moved in a northwesterly direction and plotted a trajectory that bypasses Gujarat.

But Indian officials said Gujarat remained at risk.

Authorities in Gujarat have started evacuating people from coastal areas and warned fishermen not to go out to sea.

Millions of people in the state are living in tents and other temporary structures since their homes were devastated by the earthquake in January.

The state government wants to build new homes by the end of June to shield them from Monsoon rains, but victims and volunteers say it may take longer, making them more vulnerable to rains and storms.
Related News - Statewide red alert sounded for cyclone

News Source : Yahoo.co.in
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Statewide red alert sounded for cyclone Thursday, May 24, 2001

Gandhinagar, May 24: A statewide red alert has been sounded by the state government to counter the cyclone which might head towards Gujarat. The administration in Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Junagadh, Porbandar, Rajkot, Kutch, Valsad, Navsari, Surat, Bharuch and Anand have been asked to be on guard.

All the officers at these centres have been asked to report back and the in-charge ministers too have been asked to go to their respective district headquarters. The state government has deputed officers-on-special-duty in these districts.

Moreover, the district collector’s special control room will be functioning 24 hours to coordinate the events. The satellite telephone as well as the radio network will be the alternative means of communication. The officers at the ports in the state have also been put on alert.

The work to evacuate people living in coastal areas has started and the people have asked to take 2-3 days off. Fishermen in all the coastal areas have been asked not to venture in the sea and those who are at sea have been asked to return.

The chief secretary has been asked by the chief minister to organise for food and other necessary supplies. The Indian Navy will be in the vicinity to organise relief operations if need be.

However, at the routine press briefing, chief minister Keshubhai Patel said that there is no cause of alarm in the state regarding the cyclone, The precise route of the cyclone is yet to be confirmed.

“The cyclone may get directed in another route before it hits the mainland around Mumbai. During the course of the last 12 hours, the cyclone has moved its direction twice,” he said.

Meanwhile the Meteorological Department scientists opine that the cyclone might advance in a northerly direction and hit the coast of Gujarat. This however will not advance the routine onset of monsoon in the state, they specified.

Giving information to The Asian Age on Wednesday, director of the meteorological department Dr. R.K. Kankane said, “A cyclonic storm formation has been observed 250 km south-west of Ratnagiri, Maharashtra at latitude 15.2 degrees north and longitude 71.2 degrees east.”

The Met offices have been alerted ever since the depression was sighted at 11.30 PM. on Monday.
The Met department is monitoring the cyclonic storm every three hours. Although there has been a steady northerly movement, it is difficult to predict its further move.

The Met, Ahmedabad will be intimidated by the Met, Pune in case there is an alarming move of the cyclone and in case the storm hits the state, parts of Saurashtra might receive rain showers.

The state government has also taken preventive steps in case the cyclone hits the quake-hit areas. Mr Bakilwal said that the cyclonic formations usually move northerly and hit the coast more often than the coasts of Karnataka and Maharashtra.

“When the cyclonic storm moves northerly, it finds favorable condition to gather moisture, and hence its speed intensifies. And, the record spanning over a century indicates that on very few occasions, it has diverted to Karnataka.”

But, unlike the depression that occur over Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea-depressions rarely lead to high rainfall in the coastal states. “The wind speed during that cyclone was about 200 km per hour, while at this point, it is too early to predict,” Mr Bakilwal remarked.

News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]


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Centre, Gujarat for A-G's clearance on refineries Thursday, May 24, 2001

GANDHINAGAR: In a new twist to the controversy over throwing open the Gulf of Kutch to more operators for refineries, the Centre and the Gujarat government have agreed in a high-level meeting, in New Delhi last weekend, to take the attorney-general's opinion on whether it was possible to grant the environmental clearance to the proposed projects along the sensitive Marine National Park area.

As on date, only Reliance Petroleum (RPL) and the Indian Oil have terminals on the jetties there through which they deliver oil to their respective refineries.

``If the A-G's opinion is favourable, it would allow the state to re-examine the issue of permitting Bharat-Oman Refinery Ltd (BORL) and Essar to install oil terminals near Vadinar, as also reconsidering the issue of allowing a private port at Positra,'' said a senior government official.

The meeting was convened to discuss the recent Supreme Court order which sought to ban fresh developmental activity along the Gulf of Kutch and ruled that such activities would ``disturb'' the Marine National Park's delicate eco-balance.

Gujarat chief minister's principal secretary P K Laheri, central environment ministry's secretary P V Jaykrishnan, petroleum ministry's joint secretary Shivraj Singh, BORL managing director J S Hajuria, the officials from the PMO and the state environment secretary K S Sugathan were among the participants in the meeting.

One of the important issues discussed was the BORL project that had sought to carry imported oil from Oman by a pipeline from Vadinar coast to a proposed refinery in Bina, Madhya Pradesh.

As the SC ruling stopped all developmental activities, A-G's opinion was sought to finally decide on whether future development along the Jamnagar sea coast was possible, said an official.

As for the BORL project, its managing-director Hajuria was asked to re- petition the SC, referring to a Gujarat High Court judgment that had ``approved'' an alternative route, called 2-A, for laying down the underwater pipeline near a captive oil terminal in Vadinar, causing little environmental damage.

The discussion centred on whether the route approved to the BORL by the state environment department on February 4, 2000 to lay a ``crude oil import pipeline'' was valid after the SC judgment.

Gujarat, however, considers BORL as a better ``bargain'' than that in Madhya Pradesh, which has been creating hurdles in the state's most prestigious Narmada project. All top politicians of the state have always maintained that the state should not allow the BORL pipeline to pass through its land to MP. A change in MP attitude towards Narmada should be reciprocated by the state with a similar gesture.

BOX: ON REFINERIES

* The meeting was convened to discuss the recent Supreme Court order which sought to ban fresh developmental activity along the Gulf of Kutch.

* The discussion centred on whether the route approved to the Bharat- Oman Refinery Ltd (BORL) by the state environment department to lay a ``crude oil import pipeline'' was valid after the SC judgment.

* One of the important issues discussed was the BORL project that had sought to carry imported oil from Oman by a pipeline from Vadinar coast to a proposed refinery in Bina, Madhya Pradesh.

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]


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Reliance to resume water supply to Jamnagar Thursday, May 24, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Reliance Petroleum Limited has once again decided to rescue the city of Jamnagar from its acute drinking water crisis by promising the state government that it will be supplying 15 lakh gallons of water every day. The water supply will start from Friday after a brief function in the RPL refinery near Jamnagar, company sources said.

RPL had supplied water to Jamnagar during the summer months last year, starting with 10 lakh gallons and going up to nearly 16 lakh gallons per day. The water will be drawn from the company's desalination plant which has a capacity of over 12 million gallons of water per day. RPL has decided to cut down on its own water consumption so that it can be diverted to the people of Jamnagar.

The water will reach people through the company's 11 km pipeline. RPL's desalination plant is equipped with four state-of-the-art units supplied by IDE Technologies, Israel, regarded as a pioneer in sea water desalination. Each unit has a capacity of producing 3.2 million gallon tonnes of water. Desalinated water is generated by MED (Multiple Effect Desalination). It basically converts sea water into fresh potable water by separating it of its heavy minerals. Separated from all impurities, it is water in its purest form.

The Government of Gujarat had approached Reliance chairman Dhirubhai Ambani last year who volunteered to supply 16 lakh gallons of water per day. The has once again approached Ambani as the water supply in Jamnagar has turned quite grim.

RPL already provides water through tankers to nearby villages. The average rainfall in Jamnagar is normally 20 inches. But the last 42 monsoons have seen less than 15 inches of rain. The region thus has been suffering from perennial water shortage for many years now.

Jamnagar normally gets its water supply from the Ranjitsagar dam, Sasoi dam, Und-1 and Aji-3 dam. But these sources are depleting fast. Water has to be drawn by digging bores and pits. RPL's water supply, which will commence from Friday, will continue till the monsoon comes.

RPL has the largest grassroots refinery in the world, located at Moti Khavdi near Jamnagar, with a capacity of 27 million tonnes per annum. It is also the largest state-of-the-art refinery in India, accounting for over 25 per cent of the country's refining capacity.

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]


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JAMNAGAR:::: Reliance to resume water supply to city Thursday, May 24, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Reliance Petroleum Limited has once again decided to rescue the city of Jamnagar from its acute drinking water crisis by promising the state government that it will be supplying 15 lakh gallons of water every day. The water supply will start from Friday after a brief function in the RPL refinery near Jamnagar, company sources said.

RPL had supplied water to Jamnagar during the summer months last year, starting with 10 lakh gallons and going up to nearly 16 lakh gallons per day. The water will be drawn from the company's desalination plant which has a capacity of over 12 million gallons of water per day. RPL has decided to cut down on its own water consumption so that it can be diverted to the people of Jamnagar.

The water will reach people through the company's 11 km pipeline. RPL's desalination plant is equipped with four state-of-the-art units supplied by IDE Technologies, Israel, regarded as a pioneer in sea water desalination. Each unit has a capacity of producing 3.2 million gallon tonnes of water. Desalinated water is generated by MED (Multiple Effect Desalination). It basically converts sea water into fresh potable water by separating it of its heavy minerals. Separated from all impurities, it is water in its purest form.

The Government of Gujarat had approached Reliance chairman Dhirubhai Ambani last year who volunteered to supply 16 lakh gallons of water per day. The has once again approached Ambani as the water supply in Jamnagar has turned quite grim.

RPL already provides water through tankers to nearby villages. The average rainfall in Jamnagar is normally 20 inches. But the last 42 monsoons have seen less than 15 inches of rain. The region thus has been suffering from perennial water shortage for many years now.

Jamnagar normally gets its water supply from the Ranjitsagar dam, Sasoi dam, Und-1 and Aji-3 dam. But these sources are depleting fast. Water has to be drawn by digging bores and pits. RPL's water supply, which will commence from Friday, will continue till the monsoon comes.

RPL has the largest grassroots refinery in the world, located at Moti Khavdi near Jamnagar, with a capacity of 27 million tonnes per annum. It is also the largest state-of-the-art refinery in India, accounting for over 25 per cent of the country's refining capacity.

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]


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